The City Council will decide Tuesday what it wants to do about the future of the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The sewage treatment facility, which releases 170 million gallons of waste into the Pacific Ocean each day, doesn’t filter out enough crud before it is piped 4.5 miles offshore.
The plant sits on the bluffs of Point Loma just north of Cabrillo National Monument and has little room to expand. The facility has had a waiver from the federal Clean Water Act requirement since 1995 and must reapply for it by mid-December. The city estimates an upgrade would cost between $1 billion and $1.5 billion and provide a small improvement — a step opposed by Mayor Jerry Sanders. While 85 percent of the solid matter in sewage is currently removed, an upgrade would boost that to about 90 percent.
When the council meets at 2 p.m. Tuesday, it will specifically consider whether to submit the permit application and spend $200,000 for an outside attorney to provide technical support during the waiver process. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decides whether to issue the waiver.